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Hack an airplane? Researchers reveal new security concerns

Upcoming hacking conferences shine a light on the state of cybersecurity. Researchers will present hacking risks with USB drives and fitness trackers, and aircraft systems via in-flight Wi-Fi.

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Bridget Carey
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Bridget Carey Principal Video Producer

Bridget Carey is an on-camera reporter who helps you level up your life -- while having a good time geeking out. Her exclusive CNET videos get you behind the scenes, so you can see new trends, experiences and quirky gadgets. Bridget Tries is her video series, in which she explores our changing world by getting up close with today's oddities before they become tomorrow's normal. She started as a writer with a syndicated newspaper column and has been a technology journalist for over 15 years. Now she's a mom who stays on top of toy world trends and robots. (Kids love robots.)

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Watch this: Hack an airplane? Researchers reveal new security concerns

In this tech-news roundup, learn about a few of the latest cybersecurity concerns. Black Hat and Def Con, two of the largest hacking conferences, are about to kick off in Las Vegas. Security researchers will present data on new vulnerabilities, such as how a USB flash drive can be turned "bad" and pose as another device to infect a computer. Not only is this method undetectable by anti-virus software, but it's extremely hard to repair, according to SRLabs.

Fitness trackers are also under the security microscope. Symantic published a paper on how more needs to be done to protect the personal data being collected from fitness-tracking gadgets and smartphone apps.

But the hacking presentation that will get the most attention comes from cybersecurity researcher Ruben Santamarta. He reports there is a way to hack into an aircraft's communications system using the in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment system. Let's hope this helps manufacturers quickly patch any potential problems.

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